Student Build-A-Plane Project first flight
October 23, 2021
On Sunday morning, Oct. 10, the students and families of the Tehachapi Build-A-Plane Project got to see a perfect test flight of the Zenith CH 750 Cruzer. The CH 750 Cruzer N19BP is a lightweight sport aircraft and does not need a regular pilot's license or medical certificate to fly; a simple permit is used. The flight went off as planned with no issues reported per Project Director/Test Pilot Paul Nafziger. Some of the students asked Nafziger if he was stressed at all doing the flight test flight, he replied, "I don't feel stress at all." Which makes sense considering Mr. Nafziger's background as a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base flying many types of jet aircraft and sailplanes.
Some of the people involved with the project are: Paul Nafziger, project director/test pilot; John Tumilowitz, construction leader; Brian Eney, contributor; Hal Lyon, hanger work stations; Bob Meyer, TSP past president; Tom Karnes, project coordinator. Mentors are: Jay Featherstone, Gary Childress, Tim McGuire, Ralph Bhirdo, Buzz Wells, Bill Gannon and Darrell Townsend. Approximately 50 high school students worked under the direction of the mentors.
The work on the aircraft started January 2018. Many family members and past students attended the first flight Sunday morning. The future plans for the aircraft is to log 40 hours of flight time. Then they can have passengers onboard and take students on familiarization flights.
Some day they may be able to do flight instruction with this Zenith lightweight sport plane
The next Build-A-Plane Project is in progress already with a Vans RV-10, which is owned by a local pilot. This keeps the learning process continuing for years to come.